Friday, 20 January 2012

That Friday Feeling...20/01/12

It always seems to be Friday before I am quite ready for it. And today I have only really just realised it's Friday and... what it's nearly midnight? How did that happen?

Anyway, it's been a busy busy busy week at Trouble HQ. I've been busy making mosaics all week - I'll try and take some photos so you can see some of the new designs I've made. But in the meantime... it's that Friday Feeling time. As I'm sure most of you know, it is Chinese New Year on Monday, so I thought that this week I would look for some Chinese New Year items on Etsy. Here are a few that took my fancy...

New Year's card by Lovingpaperdesigns

These butterflies by aboundingtreasures are made from paper with dragons on them. 
And I really like this T-shirt by happyfamily

I'm sure you all know plenty about the Lunar New Year (as it should be called), but here are some things that may interest you:
  • Chinese New Year is a 15 day long celebration starting on the first day of the new moon.
  • This year is the year of the dragon. There are 12 animals in the Chinese calendar: rat, ox, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog & pig. I was born in the year of the Monkey. Interestingly enough it was also one of the first things my mum called me ('You little monkey' - apparently the nurse was quite upset with my mum for calling me that) 
  • There are lots of different stories about why the years are named after those particular animals. The version I know is that the Jade Emperor called all the animals to a race to swim across the river. Only 12 animals managed to get across (some of them by cheating it should be noted). First was the rat, then the ox and tiger etc. 
  • In China, at the end of the year, people burn a paper image of the Kitchen God - the Kitchen God will go and report to the Jade Emperor upon the family's behaviour over the past year and decide whether they deserve good fortune in the upcoming year.
  • Fireworks are let off to scare away the old year. Doors and windows are also left open so that the old year has a way to exit. 
  • Different foods symbolise different things - for example bamboo is eaten to symbolise wealth, peanuts signify long life, tangerines mean luck. Fresh tofu is NOT eaten at New Year as it's white colour signifies death and misfortune.
  • As it's the year of the dragon I thought I'd include a dragon themed video. I was going to put in the song 'Puff the Magic Dragon' but it is possibly the most irritating song I've heard all week so instead you get the trailer to 'How to Train Your Dragon' - I really like the film. If you haven't seen it, it's quite cute. 


Abounding Treasures said...

What a great post!

Thanks for including my butterflies which I made by upcycling a postage stamp catalogue :)

lovingpaperdesigns said...

Thanks for featuring my card!

Great article, really interesting now I know abit about why there is 12 animals - was asked the other day and I didn't know! :)


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